Stuart Neilson

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Picoult, Jodi - House Rules
Picoult, Jodi - "House Rules"
I dislike this book because the character of 18-year-old Jacob Hunt appears to be written from a skimmed reading of a textbook psychiatric description, without depth or understanding of the nature of his supposed Asperger syndrome. The plot that unfolds (mostly his mother's romance with a dubious lawyer, and the impact of Jacob's problem behaviour) portrays something more like sociopathy than Asperger syndrome. Although chapters are written from Jacob's perspective, the primary feature of them is an absolute lack of empathy. This is puzzling because it is inconsistent with the (unstated) motivation for Jacob's actions - a person with no empathy would not have acted as he did, apparently out of empathy.
Globe and Mail review
www.jodipicoult.com

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